Like a Broken Record


What does it take? How many times does one have to say "the medium is not the message" before the world at large understands?

Here's the geniuses at CNN on a comics history of the Holocaust produced for German history classrooms by the Anne Frank Center. And of, course, what else could it possibly be but, "How could anyone possibly make something as trivial as a comic book about something as Serious and Important as the Holocaust?"

Gee, I don't know, how could anyone do such a thing?

Hmm, maybe someone could already have done such a thing twenty goddamn years ago. It's called "Maus," and maybe you've heard of it. It won a Pulitzer Fucking Prize in 1992. Millions of junior high and high school students nationwide read it in their classes. Critically acclaimed, widely considered one of the essential pieces of Holocaust literature? Comics about the Holocaust are hardly new, so it seems pretty silly to act like now it's insulting or trivializing.

I'll admit it's a little odd to see it done in HergĂ©-esque clear line style, like it was "Tintin and the Mystery of Auschwitz" or something, but style ≠ medium any more than medium = message.

Look, y'all, I'll go over it again, and as many times as I have to: comics can be about anything. Comics don't have to be just Batman and Tintin and Uncle Scrooge and whatever other "kid stuff" you suppose they must be. I've said it before and I'll say it again: comics are not an insult. Comics are a way of telling a story, no different than any other. I would have thought that enough people have been over this enough times that we wouldn't need to keep saying it.

I guess I'd be wrong about that.